Kudos to Sen. Baker for 'questioning the worthiness of zero tolerance' (see item from Cathleem Palm, The Advocate's Agenda, below) considering references to it in the Luzerne County case. (Also, I'd like to know in what PA school district the Secretary thinks Zero Tolerance has proven effective. Has anyone seen that study?)
Sen. Baker used some of her time at the PDE appropriation hearing this PM to bring up the Luzerne County injustices by asking about the worthiness of “zero tolerance” policies. She said she felt that the policy is, in part, what triggered many youths involvement in the juvenile justice system.
The Secretary said that zero tolerance makes some sense and that it is effective in PA because it “rightfully” puts the “discretion” with the Superintendent. He also said that the Luzerne situation was one “of morality” and “doing the right thing” somewhat dismissing the role/contribution of zero tolerance argument of Sen. Baker.
The senator agreed even as she said that you can only agree as much as you remember that it was “not an isolated incident” in Luzerne.